7 posts / 0 new
Last post
stewart's picture
studying the history of kata empi

hi all i am studying the nature history and performance of empi for my 2nd dan not having much look so far any and all help would be greatly appreastiated 

JWT's picture

Hi Stewart

Which Karate system are you doing it for?  

There's quite a few threads on Empi bunkai here, but I'm sure members could give you a bit more direction if they knew precisely what you are after.

Mr P
Mr P's picture

Hi Stewart, it's not much to go on but the only stuff I could come up with was from a google search for empi kata history. The shotokan way website has some good notes.

stewart's picture

cheers and sorry for the late reply as for are club we are largely shotakan but we have lots of influance from othere styles

Kokoro's picture

empi to fly like a swallow, great kata also called wanshu, its old kata, i believe it is from the 1680 or there about. the creator is though to be sappushi wang ji. he was supposable noted for grabbing his opponent throwing them to the ground and then jumping up and landing onto of them. hence the last movement were you jump.

i lve that kata it is one of my favorites

Mark B
Mark B's picture

Hi all,

Personally I don't subscribe to the idea of this  person Wang Ji being known for throwing an opponent to the ground and jumping on them, firstly because there is  much debate about whether  Sappushi Wang Ji was even the person after which the kata was created and if he was the inspiration for the kata why put his signature move at the end of the form, it doesn't fit with my way of thinking.

As with any kata I see a complete system, a syllabus in and of itself. However, this syllabus doesn't just focus on good form, it actually presents the possibilities for a violent encounter.

Stewart attended my Wanshu open session at which I gave a full explanation of my interperatation from an academic/ theoretical angle. As for the history it really is tough with claim and counter claim, one person trying to prove a finding or discredit  another.

From a grading point of view maybe that might be the way to go, the answer being that there is no definitive historical answer, but I would suggest you might want to also put great emphasis on how YOU view and understand the kata, because in the end that will be the most important thing. As I said at the beginning of my Wanshu session, that was my take on it and you are perfectly within your rights to agree with me 100%, on parts or not at all.

All the best


Th0mas's picture

Kokoro wrote:
.....he was supposable noted for grabbing his opponent throwing them to the ground and then jumping up and landing onto of them. hence the last movement were you jump.

Really? i have always taken the view that the final set of moves in Enpi is a throw following a series of controlling techniques, equivalent to a fire-mans lift then a body dump.  

The reason I have never excepted that the jump is a jump is for the same reason/logic I apply for Heian Godan.. The jump respresents a throw and is the only way to represent significant body weight shift in a solo kata (it may not have even intially been a jump, just an expansive movement that has evolved over time to become more athletic in the solo kata form)